SV: Romila Thapar appointed Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South at Library of Congress

George Thompson gthomgt at ADELPHIA.NET
Wed Apr 30 02:50:29 UTC 2003

Dear List,

While I find myself in great sympathy with Jonathan Silk and Jan Houben, who
want to preserve this list, as a forum for scholarly discussion, from
excessive politicization, I myself have seen no violations of the list's
guidelines.  I also think that the defense of Indology against political
attacks like this current one, put forward as far as I can tell by a group
with no scholarly competence whatsoever, is, or should be, an acceptable
part of Indological discourse.

Unlike previous versions of this list, this version has been moderated, and
its members are disciplined as well as well-informed scholars.  As far as I
can see, there is little danger of this discussion becoming just another
hysterical shouting match like those that used to occur regularly on the
previous list.

An attack on Romila Thapar is an attack on Indology.  As an Indologist, I
think that she, and our discipline, should be defended from such

And as a private person living in a nation governed illicitly by a fascist
minority, I choose not  to stay on the safe side.

Best wishes,

George Thompson

-----Original Message-----
From: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at]On Behalf Of Jan E.M.
Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2003 5:02 PM
Subject: Re: SV: Romila Thapar appointed Kluge Chair in Countries and
Cultures of the South at Library of Congress

May I take the liberty to draw the list members'
attention to the Scope and Guidelines of the List
and especially to the phrase:
"List members are discouraged from posting
messages that are not part of a discourse on
Note also the phrase "Members who violate these
standards will be warned and may have their
membership privileges suspended or revoked if the
behaviour continues."
Since the basic data are now available to the
entire readership of the list I think those
interested will stay on the safe side by
continuing the discussion on the Kluge Chair
Best regards,
Jan Houben

--- Jonathan Silk <silk at HUMNET.UCLA.EDU> wrote:
> >Humbly: doesn't the academic and intellectual
> freedom of a noted Indian
> >historian (and threats to that freedom) meet
> the suggested subject
> >criteria?
> >
> >David Magier
> >
> Please tell me the academic value or
> contribution to intellectual
> freedom offered by the following:
> Given that the United States right now has a
> right-wing government, any
> intervention in this case should be couched in
> careful language.
> Otherwise, ignorant republican senators and
> congressmen might draw the
> conclusion that you are just a bunch of
> leftists trying to keep an
> honest conservative out of the job.
> My fear is that this *type* thing will quickly
> degenerate into the
> polemics that drove Indology out of business
> once (? at least once)
> before.
> I suggest that any further exchanges on this
> issue should be carried
> on off-list.
> --
> Jonathan Silk
> Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures
> Center for Buddhist Studies
> 290 Royce Hall
> Box 951540
> Los Angeles, CA 90095-1540
> phone: (310)206-8235
> fax:  (310)825-8808
> silk at

Professor Dr. Jan E.M. Houben,
Icole Pratique des Hautes Itudes,
@ la Sorbonne,
45-47, rue des Icoles,
75005 Paris -- France.
J_E_M_Houben at
J.E.M.Houben at

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